Saturday, January 22, 2005

On Privatization --
So, I missed the beginnings of the debate on privatization of social security that seems to be an obsession of all the lefty blogs I've been catching up on since returning to the good ol' U.S.A. So here's my take.

The tax code currently contains a lot of deductions which individually are well-meaning and might even be good ideas theoretically but which, taken as a whole, result in a bloated tax code that seems to make people do a lot more work than is necessary.

If people are required to invest money in stocks, that places a similar cognitive burden on a lot of people. Which is not to say that the masses are inherently incapable of being wise investors, but even if they are, these things add up. Social Security doesn't have to be perfect. Even if more money is possible with private investment accounts, it comes with a price.

Life is faster today compared to yesterday. Life is more complex. And it will continue to grow more complex. The individual ideal must give way to the ideal of man as an individual who is yet a part of a community. The mostly self-sufficient yeoman farmer or man in the state of nature are artifacts of the past, no longer things we should look to as models for the society we construct around us.

If Social Security can chug along in roughly its present form, without requiring much tinkering, then let us turn our political minds to other, more pressing needs of the day.
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